3 Heart Conditions That Qualify for Social Security Disability

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Heart disease is quite prevalent in the United States. According to recent statistics, heart disease affects nearly half of the country’s population. And, many different kinds of heart conditions exist. Each condition has its own unique symptoms. For example, the symptoms of heart disease in the blood vessels are different than symptoms of a weak heart muscle.

Some symptoms of certain heart conditions can make life difficult. Symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue can greatly affect one’s quality of life and their ability to work.

For this reason, certain heart conditions qualify for Social Security Disability. Discover three of those heart conditions.

1. Ischemic Heart Disease

Ischemic heart disease is a type of cardiomyopathy caused by coronary artery disease. Cardiomyopathy is a disease that primarily affects the heart muscle. When a person has this type of heart disease, the heart muscle becomes enlarged or rigid, which makes it hard for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.

Ischemic heart disease affects 1 in 100 people, making it the most common type of cardiomyopathy. People who smoke, have high blood pressure, or high cholesterol levels are at a higher risk of getting ischemic heart disease.

Common symptoms associated with ischemic heart disease include:

  • Pain, tightness, or pressure in the chest
  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
  • Feeling of heartburn or indigestion
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath

Ischemic heart disease can lead to heart failure. In order to collect Social Security Disability, those with this heart condition must be able to prove that they have serious limitations and cannot perform daily activities. Tests that diagnose the condition need to have been completed within the last year.

2. Chronic Heart Failure/Congestive Heart Failure

Chronic heart failure occurs when the heart does not pump blood as well as it should. This condition becomes progressively worse over time. Two primary types of chronic heart failure exist. These include systolic heart failure and diastolic heart failure.

During systolic heart failure, the left ventricle of the heart cannot contract completely. When this happens, the heart cannot adequately pump blood to the rest of the body. Diastolic heart failure occurs when the chambers of the heart cannot fill properly with blood. This prevents the heart from pumping enough blood out to the body.

Both types of heart failure can occur at the same time. No matter what type of heart failure a person has, they are at risk for the blood backing up into other parts of the body. When the blood backs up, it can cause congestion of the liver, lungs, and other systems in the body.

Common symptoms of chronic heart failure include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fluid retention
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, and belly
  • Increased heart rate
  • Persistent coughing

The symptoms of CHF can greatly reduce one’s quality of life. A person needs to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. One such criteria is that those with chronic heart failure need to prove they have undergone continuous treatment.

3. Recurrent Arrhythmias

Disturbances in the heart’s electrical system produce an abnormal heartbeat called an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia can either cause the heart to beat too quickly (tachycardia), too slowly (bradycardia), or irregularly. Any of these scenarios can have negative repercussions for the person who experiences the arrhythmia.

The three different types of arrhythmias include atrial fibrillation (AFib), ventricular fibrillation, and heart block. Of these three, AFib is the most common. This type of arrhythmia affects the upper chambers of the heart, also known as the atria. Ventricular fibrillation affects the lower chambers, or the ventricles. This type of arrhythmia can lead to cardiac arrest or sudden death.

During heart block, the heart beats too slowly. Some people with arrhythmias will not have any symptoms. For those that do, some common symptoms of arrhythmias include:

  • Fluttering in the chest
  • Fainting or near fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Some people can actually feel their heart beating too slowly, too quickly, or irregularly. Having an arrhythmia does not automatically qualify someone for Social Security Disability. The arrhythmia must be present on a regular basis for at least one year. The recurrent arrhythmia must also be severe enough to prevent the person who has it from working.

Other criteria to qualify for benefits include a recurrence of the arrhythmia despite getting treated for it and the arrhythmia is not from a reversible condition.

If you have any of the above-mentioned heart conditions, or any other qualifying impairment, call Horn & Kelley, PC. today. Our experienced attorneys in the greater Chicago and NW Indiana area can help you obtain the Social Security Disability benefits that you deserve. We look forward to speaking with you soon.


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